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Carmelo Anthony after latest home loss to Grizzlies: ‘I think it’s in our heads’

Dec 21, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony Getty Images

NEW YORK — The Knicks suffered their 10th home loss of the season on Saturday, playing against an injury-ravaged Grizzlies team that came in losing five straight and seven of its last eight games.

The noon start time wasn’t as big of a problem as it had been in New York’s previous two early starts, when the team suffered blowout losses of 31 points to the Spurs and 41 points to the Celtics. But they did trail by nine in the first quarter and by as many as 19 in the second half before a late run had them within four points with under 30 seconds to play.

Ultimately, the rally fell short, just like the Knicks have all season long. And at the moment, Carmelo Anthony believes the issues are mental more than they are related to basketball.

“I don’t think it’s nothing that has to do with basketball at this point,” he said of the home losses afterward. “I think it’s in our heads. It’s the mental part of it. And as individual players we’ve got to get out of our own mind, our own head and start — I don’t know what you have to do, but just start having fun again and playing basketball, and not trying to worry about too many other things that’s going on out there.”

That might be believable if there weren’t so many legitimate problems with this team, all of which were on display in this one.

Tyson Chandler is supposed to be the Knicks primary rim protector and anchor of the defense. But after managing just eight points and six rebounds in almost 33 minutes of action while seeing Memphis outrebound the Knicks by an absurd 56-29 margin, it’s clear he’s nowhere near 100 percent, playing in just his second game back after missing all but the season’s first four with a right leg fracture.

“I’m getting there. Battling,” Chandler said, when I asked him how we was feeling physically. “I’m trying to come back, trying to get my conditioning right, trying to get my timing right and my legs under me and all that good stuff while trying to stop whoever’s in front of me. But I expect it to take time, and I expect it to take a little while for myself to get in a rhythm with my teammates, and for my teammates to get back in rhythm with me.”

Speaking of rhythm, there is absolutely none of it to the Knicks offense. Beno Udrih is starting at point guard, and his uncertainty with the ball combined with his questionable decision-making and lack of court vision sees things devolve into isolation sets more often than not. When Woodson tried to go without a point guard in the lineup, the offense resembled a bad pickup game where whoever dribbled up the ball took the shot as quickly as possible, without bothering to see if a teammate might be open for a better look.

One play in particular saw Amar’e Stoudemire frantically jumping up and down while waving his arms all alone under the basket, only to see the ball swing to the other side for a three-point attempt instead.

The Knicks did play well in spurts, and showed an energy and intensity at times that makes you believe they should be doing much better in the standings, if only they could put it together for extended stretches.

That’s been the most frustrating thing for Anthony to deal with as the home losses continue to pile up, and the season continues to spiral further out of control for the Knicks.

“There’s just a sense of inconsistency right now,” he said. “We have spurts where we’re playing great basketball, then we have spurts where we’re just dead out there. We’ve got to get better at that. We’ve got to try to put together a full game and start becoming a more consistent basketball team.”

  1. 950003cups - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Well, I think it’s in your talents. You suck!

  2. claymatthewshairplugs - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Lakers shouldn’t even be thinking about trading for chandler, he’s not even 100%. What the LakeShow needs to do is get on the horn with Joe Dumars and the Pistons and make the trade. Gasol & one of the improved reclamation projects Xavier or Wesley Johnson for Andre Drummond. Lakers get the big man of the future, Detroit can move Monroe back to his natural C position and add a wing that can shoot and a solid post player in Gasol. Lakers don’t try for Chandler get Drummond.

    • basketballhooper1 - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAA, man no way in hell are the Pistons trading Drummond for anyone short of Lebron. Let alone a declining Gasol and “reclamation project”. Man, you must be out your Laker mind to think that. Pistons have no reason to trade Drummond, the kid’s killing it right now and his potential is sky high.

      • stadix093 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        Please try to believe not all Laker fans are not that stupid. I would love Drummond, but I know there is no way we can have him for now.

      • basketballhooper1 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        haha no I believe that man, just this guy is unbelievable, I respect all fans, just this guy’s totally unrealistic

      • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        @basketballhooper1 – Don’t you love how Laker fans come up with insane trades where they’re ripping off somebody?

        Sorry Laker fans! Free Shaq and Kobe snacks are no longer available!

  3. blazermaniac22 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Man, Anthony is full of feces… This dude is a TERRIBLE teammate… He just doesn’t get it.. Reminds me of Kanye West in the fish sticks episode of South Park lol… Just get it man! It’s you!

    • 24thesho - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      I think there’s some truth to this. Carmelo is a great player but he’s not doing what it takes to lead for the money he’s being paid and the stature to which has been bestowed. No, or, never great defense, the guards are so wack. By this point, it’s very little to do with the coaching. Also, he has to stopping acting like he’s an elite player, because, “real” elite ball players keep their teams in the hunt, at least; I mean, he is, but, he’s not at the same time. They also need some faster and more skilled guards, and to play team defense and Melo has really needed to play better defense…, since, like, forever. This is not rocket science. Get better players. It’s NYC! WTF?

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        There is truth to that. Not all great players are great leaders.

        Being a leader is completely different than being great at a sport or in math or whatever.

        It IS great if one’s best player is also a leader but the best player is NOT a leader SIMPLY because they are a great player.

        Now Melo is talented, a max player will end up in the HOF too.

        But there are differences between those at the very top and those who are a rung down.

        LeBron, while much younger as a player and a person dragged a terrible team in the Cavs to the Finals. Yes, they lost but the Spurs were a much better team than the Cavs.

        Melo, then or now could not have led that team to the Finals.

        Melo is 30. The exact same Knicks team with MJ as a 30 yr old and Melo not on it wouldn’t win the Finals but they would be A LOT better and better off than they are right now.

        Melo is great, he’s just not an all time great.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:02 PM


        I’d have to disagree with you about Jordan at 30 making this Knicks team that much better. They would probably have a few more wins but I wouldn’t expect a wild improvement unless he was coming with Pippen and Jackson (or people similar to them).

        Jordan knows what it’s like to struggle like this while being called a poor leader – he’s been there.

        Melo needs better teammates and definitely a better coach.

      • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        @24thesho – Melo is a great scorer. He’s neither leader or a help on the defensive end. The reality is that sometimes it’s better NOT to trade for a max player (Melo) if he can’t be that 1 of 5 guys on the court that changes the game for your team on BOTH ends, or provides matchup problems (like Durant).

        Melo was a bad deal for NY

  4. timb12 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    You’re telling me I can get Pau and a decent player for Drummond?! SIGN ME UP!

    • jcmeyer10 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      *Danny Ainge’s face goes pale as he realizes the package that he proposed for Asik could have landed Drummond in ‘claymatthewshairplugs’ Twilight Zoneesque reality*

  5. caeser12 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    “We’ve got to get better at that.”

    That seems to be the new motto.

  6. jennsanz - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    This team has a lot of talent and we know that… but all they do is offensive highlight plays wahahahah… No defense, instead of complaining to the reps and all of those hypes that they do, they should have run and go back to defense, stop the transition..

  7. leahcima1 - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    The only thing more pathetic than the Knicks are the fans who rationalize that all they need is this, that or the other thing. The Knicks have a mismatched roster. No leadership on the floor or on the bench. Melo is the most overrated talent in pro sports. Dolan is the worst owner in all sports. Sorry Dallas fans but your guy comes in second. They have been, and always will be losers, at least for as long as Dolan owns the team. And I read these blogs with middle school mentalities on how they just need a little of this or a little of that. Melo yaks stupidities after every loss, like saying it will make it happen. Absurd. Personally I love it. I’m a fan of another NBA team and they keep their mouths shut and play the game the way winners play it.

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      If you think Cuban is the second worst owner in all of sports then you should do a little research instead of going off personal feelings.

      • 950003cups - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        I hope you’re not insinuating that Cuban is worse than Dolan. Dolan actually blamed the Knicks City Dancers for losses. He’s a terrible owner. You should never give a professional sports franchise to a spoiled, drug addict, who lives off daddy’s money. When you do, you get this garbage.

      • leahcima1 - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        I was referring to Jones and the Cowboys. My bad.

      • leahcima1 - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        detectivejimmymcnulty Though I was referring to Jerry Jones, Cuban’s move of breaking up his championship team was one of the worst decisions of my modern NBA memory.

  8. footballer4ever - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Carmelo, overated, Anthony has fallen short of expectations in many basketball ways. He sure must carry that complex within him everyday and it’s starting to show more often.

  9. jimeejohnson - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    These Knicks are a joke.

  10. gmailfan57 - Dec 23, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    The Knicks are a fundamentally flawed team. They have no inside presence offensively or defensively. They rely on their ability to make low percentage shots. More times than not you’re not going to hit contested three’s and the Knicks policy of “let Carmelo go one on five and hope he gets fouled” in the last two minutes is pure insanity. Even if they make the playoffs (not impossible in the NBA (L)east), look for a first round exit. It’s so sad. All this time waiting to get out from under those contracts and now they’re right back in the fecal matter. The very definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

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